Captain’s Log: The future of design
Last week, I headed over to LPK (which is housed in a gorgeous historical building, by the way) for a talk called Memo from 2015: What the Future Wants from Designers. The event was sponsored by the Cincinnati AIGA and led by adorably baby-faced-but-apparently-brilliant LPK trend analyst Brian Meyers.
Call me shallow (you’d be right), but I’m much more likely to listen to an analysis of future trends from someone who looks straight out of a photo on The Sartorialist. And I have to say I was floored when he referenced Comme des Garcons and Nicolas Ghesquiere in practically the same breath. Finally, someone who speaks my language!
Brian started off by telling us a bit about how the LPK team distills socio-cultural trends into specific “future states”—Star Trek-ish* versions of the future—and the necessity of designing for those possible worlds now, instead of getting stuck in the present and playing catch-up later.
Simplistic slowdown: Slower experiences; higher emotional engagement
Curate & collect: Living highly selective and purposeful lives
Maker culture: The producer and consumer are the same person. In this case, designers will need to distinguish their value as people are more apt to do things on their own (e.g. create a magazine, even if you don’t really know what you’re doing)
Embracing the ugly: Palates adjust to accept and appreciate the amateur aesthetic
Death and destruction: Damage and desolation as art
Computers as competition: Humans vs our increasingly intelligent robotic rivals
Images: Wit + Delight, lauren gaudart, etsy, ffffound
I noticed distinct correlations between several of the states mentioned. For instance, being selective (Curate and collect) takes time and energy (Simplistic slowdown) in order to sort through the rabble for things that are personally meaningful. In a Maker culture, people are more apt to embrace something they’ve made (ugly as it may be), due to the emotional attachment formed during the creation process.
Most of the trends are clearly a backlash against the 24/7, always-busy nature of the web. People are growing tired of the constant stream of information, ideas, and imagery thrown at them via social networks and digital media. We’re already seeing a proliferation of hand-crafted goods and clean and simple design.
The point: designers need to learn how to create imagery and experiences that are engaging to the people living in those worlds. Now.
It was an interesting talk.
What do you think the future holds? So you see those changes starting to take place now?
*I’m kind of a Trekkie. Add that to the list of things you never asked and didn’t really care to know about me.